Date: January 2001
Interviewed: Paul, Flake, Christoph, and Richard
Interviewer:What are the origins of the band name Rammstein and what does it mean?Paul:The name refers to place called Rammstein, where 76 people died in an aeroplane accident. We also like the sound of the word Rammstein (the two ms etc.). When Iım asked in America I always say itıs a brand of beer.Schneider:From an airport with the same name.
Interviewer:Why do you think Rammstein is the only popular German band in the USA?Flake:We know we are very successful in America at the moment. A reason could be that we are not copying American music.Schneider:To cut it short: We are great, original and outstanding!!!
Interviewer:Where and when are you touring next?Flake:When the album has been released we are going on a long tour. Apart from Germany and big european countries we will also visit Asia, Australia, North and South America. It'll be a real worldtour.
Interviewer:Are you going to record an album in English?Flake:We are not planning to record an album in English.Schneider:No.
Interviewer:How did it come about that Emu became your manager?Flake:We asked him and after he had seen us in concert he agreed.Schneider:It was love at second sight.
Interviewer:Did Kraftwerk make a statement about the cover version of "Das Modell"?Flake:Check out the Kraftwerk book "Kraftwerk ich war ein Roboter".Schneider:They think its a terrible version. The worst they've ever heard.
Interviewer:What do you think of Mambo Kurt's Engel Remix?Flake:I think the Mambo Kurt version is good. The video too.Schneider:It's good.
Interviewer:Who sings the female part in Engel?Flake:Bobo, the former singer from "Bobo in white wooden houses".
Interviewer:Is it true that you wanted to record a song with Helge Schneider?Flake:We would love to sing with Helge Schneider but we haven't asked him yet.Schneider:Yes. (Smiles)
Interviewer:Does Richard do the whistling himself on Engel?Flake:When we play live Richard and Paul whistle together.
Interviewer:What are your influences? The song "Klavier" in particular: who is it by and which idea is it based on?Paul:We like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pantera, Metallica, Prodigy and the Sex Pistols. "Klavier" tells the story of a man who murders his piano teacher, leaves her sitting at the piano and locks the room. In the song the her death is discovered years later.
Interviewer:Do you use D-tuning or power chords?Paul:Both, that's why we often have to change guitars when we play live.
Interviewer:Where do you get your inspiration for the songs and the show?Paul:We keep asking ourselves the same questionSchneider:We often sit down together and think up new show elements and one surpasses the other. It's different with the songs. Usually the guitarists come up with ideas at home or in the studio. The ideas are converted into songs in the studio and Till then tries to fit them to a text and the actual work of making a Rammstein song begins.
Interviewer:Would you say that Laibach have influenced you?Paul:A few of us like the sound on the "Live is Live" record. We're not so convinced about their concerts.
Interviewer:How do you develop your songs?Paul:There are songs which are written at home which everybody agrees to immediately. There are songs which are written at home and are ruined together. There are songs which are written at home and are destroyed. There are songs which are written while jamming in the studio.
Interviewer:How do you write your songs and texts? Is music built around a text or is it the other way round?Paul:Music and text are usually written parallel and then have to be welded together, which is actually the most difficult part.
Interviewer:Which type of strings do you use?Paul:Dean Markley
Interviewer:Which equipment do you use?Paul:Logic, AKAI, ESP, Musicman, Mesa Boogie, Protools, MAC-Computer, SANSMAP, Ensonic
Interviewer:Do you think your music would be different if you had grown up in the west?Paul:Yes. More cowardly.
Interviewer:What do you think of MP3? Do you think it will damage the music industry very much in the future?Paul:It's a child's dream: listening to music that doesn't come from something that revolves.
Interviewer:Where did the idea for the cover to "Live aus Berlin" come from?Schneider:From a photo session with Olaf Heine. After that we had tons of good and serious pictures. We particularly liked this amusing scene. We're listening to the transmission of an event, we are amazed by the technically impossible, it is funny and not very pushy. The most important thing for us here was to try to avoid the obligatory live photo on the live album.
Interviewer:What do you think of the USA?Schneider:There are lots of reasons why I like America. Everything is bigger, you feel like there's space. People are talkative and things are less complicated. Life in general appears to be more relaxed over there. I like touring in the US a lot. It's great that our German music is so successful in America, people even try to understand our lyrics. We've travelled the whole country with the band, it's better than being on holiday. I've met lots of people there and we were able to play together with other good bands (Korn, Limp Bizkit and KMFDM). The US is most definitely a completely controlled a police state however, contrary to all talk of freedom. I really don't know what to make of American morality. I could imagine living there for a while, but would never apply for American citizenship.Flake:It's a sick and decadent country with no culture.
Interviewer:What do you think of the east German/west German conflict?Paul:The story is similar to that of the Native American Indians and the whites. The whites brought glass beads and the Indians forfeited their country. The whites classed the Indians as stupid and dirty and think themselves better. The Indians lived a simple but happy life etc.
Interviewer:What do you miss about the GDR?Paul:Naturalness, helpfulness; getting annoyed but not worrying.Flake:It was pleasant not always having to choose between so many different makes of a product. My life was more natural, for example, you only had strawberries in summer.
Interviewer:Are you religious?Flake:I disapprove of religions which are made into rigid institutions. I also think that religious fanaticism and missionary work are dangerous.
Interviewer:What do you think of orthodox religion?Paul:I am not really concerned with religion and believe more in ourselves.
Interviewer:What do you think of Hitler?Flake:I think Hitler was mentally ill.Paul:He should of stayed in Austria.
Interviewer:Seid Ihr faschistoid?Paul:No.
Interviewer:Are you proud to be German?Paul:Not really, but in contrast to the majority of Germans we do not have a problem with the fact that we come from Germany. When you travel a lot your relationship to your home country becomes more relaxed. The Germans have lots of endearing characteristics and of course lousy ones as well and are therefore no different to the other nations of this planet.
Interviewer:Have you ever had the feeling on stage of playing really badly?Paul:Yes, definitely.Flake:Every now and then there are days when we play badly (after big parties etc.). The feeling disappears throughout the course of the concert however.
Interviewer:When Till hits himself on the head with the microphone during "Sehnsucht" does he use artificial blood or is he genuinely injured?Flake:The blood is real because Till hits himself on the very same place every evening. I donıt understand it either. He can take a lot it seems.
Interviewer:Why donıt you play "The Meister" at concerts?Schneider:We canıt play all our songs. There is no particular reason for not playing "The Meister" at concerts.Flake:The choice of songs is based on decisions about the dramatic affect we want to create.
Interviewer:How does the American audience differ from the German audience?Schneider:Our audience in America is younger, the German audience has been behind us a lot longer.Flake:Itıs easier to arouse the enthusiasm of our American audience.
Interviewer:Which concert in the USA/Germany have you enjoyed the most?Schneider:Berlin WuhlheideFlake:Each member of the band perceives the concerts differently. I enjoyed Seattle myself.
Interviewer:Where do you prefer playing? USA or Germany? Schneider: We play where we are in demand and where we can afford to perform.Flake:I prefer playing in the USA because the attitude to music is more relaxed.Richard:The American audience has a more openminded attitude to music, they also get enthusiatic about instrumental parts and a good riff is always appreciated. As a guitarrist this is of course an incredibly good feeling. In contrast to, let´s say Flake, I enjoy being in the USA also in my spare time. Maybe Flake´s attitude to the US is quite literally connected to his stomach, he always longs for dark bread when he is in the States! For me the USA is the country where I met my wife, we got married there and I can certainly imagine moving to the States one day.
Interviewer:Where do you buy your drugs on tour? Do you take drugs?Schneider:It was a long time ago that I tried drugs. Iım not interested in drugs as a rule.Flake:I drink alcohol.
Interviewer:Where do you get your silver hair colour?Paul:Itıs white cream.
Interviewer:Who designs your clothes and where are they on sale?Paul:They are a combination of our own ideas and the work of tailor friends of ours.
Interviewer:How many people work on a show? What is the approximate cost of a show?Paul:Around 30 people. Costs and profit balance themselves everywhere except in Germany. As a rule we use profits to finance performances in countries where we havenıt played yet. That was how we got to America.
Interviewer:Why do you show so little emotion during your shows?Paul:Because we are enjoying excactly that.
Interviewer:Which make of car do you drive?Flake:At the moment we're rarely at home. That's why owning a car actually doesn't make sense.
Interviewer:How do you spend your leisure time? Do you have any hobbies?Flake:Eating, drinking, sleeping....
Interviewer:In which cities/countries would you prefer to live?Flake:I would like to live some place at the ocean nearby hills.
Interviewer:Do you have children?Flake:I have a daughter.
Interviewer:Where did you grow up?Flake:I grew up in the Prenzlauer Berg area in Berlin. That's the district I still live in. And when I go to our rehearsals for instance I always pass my old school building.
Interviewer:How did you look like when you were teenaged?Flake:First I was a longhaired bluesfan. Then I became sort of a punk wearing colored pants and stuff from the west I got in exchange like Doc Marten's and Shell-Parkas.
Interviewer:Which movies do you like?Paul:It's changing all the time. At the moment I like best "King Ping" und "Pulp Fiction".
Interviewer:Do you work out?Paul:Only rarely.
Interviewer:Do you have pets?Paul:Till has fish. Richard's wife owns a dog.
Interviewer:Did you ever taste vodka?Paul:Yes.
Interviewer:Are you gay?Paul:No.
Interviewer:Which are your favourite video games?Paul:Doom, Half Live, Team Fortress, Golden Eye.
Interviewer:What do you think of Latin America?Paul:I love Mexico.
Interviewer:What's your favourite city in the USA?Paul:New York, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans.
Interviewer:Are your children allowed to listen to your music and watch your shows?Paul:Yes.